Bogut's been getting it done of late.
- Tom Enlund recaps the 98-92 win over Miami last night. Check out Alex's recap here. Larry K is probably feeling a bit relieved that the Bucks have come around a little following that disastrous lost a week ago to the Wizards. The problem now? Keeping it going against better teams.
"Confidence is a funny word," said Krystkowiak. "Because you start tinkering on the brink of that and it's overconfidence. We're feeling good about what we're doing. Our roles are defined. Guys are seeing the ball go in a fair number of times and have kind of found their niche in that regard.
"But team-wise, we've still got a lot of areas (in which to improve). We're still turning it over too much. Defensively, we've got our lapses. But guys keep working hard and we'll keep addressing the issues we have as a team. I'll take this confidence level. The fact that we can win some games and guys are seeing baskets go in. We'll take that. As long as we can keep it in check."
Probably the most important bit to me there is the talk about defining roles. Ironically, the only guy who did seem to have a defined role was Redd, but beyond that you never knew who was going to be the second option. We're seeing renewed confidence in Bogut, both from teammates and himself, and that along with some improved play by Bell and Simmons is allowing them to compete without Redd. Last night Bogut was effective early and the Heat then worked to deny him the ball more as the game went on, opening the door for Mo Williams to increasingly take over.
- Frightening trade rumor of the day: Zach Randolph to the Bucks? John Canzano in Portland writes:
NBA source told me via telephone on Wednesday night that Zach Randolph is on the trading block, and that he's likely to end up in Milwaukee. Keep an eye on that, if you need a sideshow. I don't know about you, but when I think of Z-Bo going to Milwaukee, I keep seeing the Hoops Family going down the street, headed to the Shotz Brewery, arms linked, doing the "schlemiel-schlamazel" while singing, "There is nothing we won't try, never heard the word impossible..."
I think I'd rather eat Simmons and Gadzuric's deals than throw Randolph into the mix down low. You love the idea of a guy who can put up 20/10, but if you've already got two young bigs you like, why take on a guy with questionable character, no defense, and who's owed $61 million through 2011? And in case you're wondering, no, I don't like the idea of switching Yi Jianlian to small forward.
- Andrew Bogut is enjoying January. He's averaging 15.6 ppg and 9.4 rpg on .571/.700 shooting, compared to 11.1 and 8.6 on .494/.489 in December. The Bucks are 4-1 in January after finishing 4-12 in December. The schedule helps, but you can tell his confidence is much better right now. He did have some highlights in December though, just check out the video above.
- Word from the WSSP post-game show is that Michael Redd is likely to come off the bench on Friday against the Lakers. The Bucks' starting unit has found a nice rhythm of late, building early leads in the last three wins, so given Redd's mobility will likely still be a factor it will be interesting to see what kind of dynamic the Bucks get with their leading scorer acting as temporary sixth man. I'm sure if the Bucks shock the Lakers everyone will be hollering for you know what, but let's remember this is a temporary thing until Redd is back to 100%. Btw, kudos to Steve "Sparky" Fifer over at WSSP; I don't listen to the radio much period but he's carried the torch for the Bucks while most of the media tends to ignore them.
- We haven't mentioned him in a while, but Ramon Sessions keeps chugging along down in Tulsa. In 15 games for the 66ers he's averaging 20.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 6.6 apg in 35 mpg. Not bad for a guy who was supposed to be more of defensive-oriented game manager.
- The Bratwurst talks trades that won't happen. The interesting one to me is the idea of a deal involving Redd and Tracy McGrady. Peter Vescey apparently mentioned something about this on the radio a week or so ago, which means absolutely nothing, but it's an interesting idea. Both guys are gunners who have been stuck with the tag of not being able to win. McGrady is obviously the superior talent, and while both are 28, McGrady's currently struggling with knee problems and might carry durability concerns for the rest of his career. Redd has an ETO before the 10/11 season, when he's schedule to make $18.3 million, while McGrady's deal expires in 09/10 when he's scheduled to make $21 million. So not a huge difference in salary terms. Ironically, TrueHoop listed a bunch of possible McGrady deals a few days ago, but the Bucks weren't among them. The appeal to both teams would be as a change-of-scenery type deal, and you could certainly picture Redd being a nice second banana to Yao. McGrady meanwhile might not be a great fit in Milwaukee--you'll probably hear many of the same complaints that Redd gets now--but he'll sell some tickets and he's still Tracy McGrady. If the Bucks threw in their unprotected first and filler then the Rockets would have to think long and hard, but then again so would the Bucks. I'd happily do a deal that didn't include our first rounder, it might not put the Bucks over the top but it'd be interesting if nothing else.
- Jim Paschke talks to Larry K about the Bucks' recent passing habits. Jim also gives you another fun factoid about Charlie Bell's recent resurgence.
Charlie Bell broke through on Sunday with a season high 27 points. Bell had scored 27 total points in his previous 10 games, so it was great to see him smiling.
- Toni Kukoc made a rare appearance at the BC last night, and Craig Coshun interviewed him briefly on the FSN telecast. I like Craig Coshun a lot, but did I misunderstand or did he suggest Toni was on the Bucks team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001? Kukoc was acquired for Glenn Robinson after the following season, but he sort of dodged the question.
- We'd definitely like to tip our cap to the cool kids over at Hardwood Paroxysm for collecting nominations for end-of-season NBA blogger awards that will be voted on in April. We're honored to be nominated in the "rookie of the year" category, though we're not sure how we're supposed to compete with professionals like Kelly "Ten Posts a Day" Dwyer. Seriously Dwyer, you're making us look bad.